Five faculty members elected to National Academy of Sciences

Five UC Berkeley faculty members have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the most prestigious scientific organizations in the country. The new members, announced today (Tuesday, April 29), bring the total number of living academy members at UC Berkeley to 139.

five new nas members

New NAS members, in order, Richard Borcherds, L. Craig Evans, Richard Harland, Montgomery Slatkin and Bin Yu.

The newly elected members are:

Richard E. Borcherds, professor of mathematics. Borcherds, who in 1998 won the Fields Medal – the math world’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize – specializes in lattices, number theory, group theory and infinite-dimensional algebras.

L. Craig Evans, the Class of 1961 Collegium Chair in the Department of Mathematics. Evans works in the field of nonlinear partial differential equations, primarily elliptic equations, and is the author of the standard introductory graduate level textbook, Partial Differential Equations.

Richard M. Harland, the C.H. Li Distinguished Professor and co-chair of the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology. Harland uses mice and frogs – specifically, the South African Clawed frog and the Western Clawed Frog – to investigate early vertebrate development at the molecular level.

Montgomery W. Slatkin, the John L. and Margaret B. Gompertz Professor of Integrative Biology. Slatkin is a population geneticist whose studies range from the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) to interbreeding among early humans and Neanderthals.

Bin Yu, a Chancellor’s Professor in the departments of statistics and of electrical engineering and computer science. Yu works on statistical machine learning theory, methodologies, and algorithms for solving high-dimensional data problems.

The five are among 84 new members and 21 new foreign associates from 15 countries elected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. The total number of active academy members is now 2,214, with 444 foreign associates.

The academy is a private, nonprofit honorific society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furthering science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Established in 1863, it has served to “investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art” whenever called upon to do so by any department of the government.